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Book It: On Intelligence

In Book It, Computer Vision, Neural Science on April 19, 2011 at 8:49 pm

written by Gooly

On Intelligence is written by Jeff Hawkins, the Kobe Bryant in Neural Science, some people may not like him, but he scores. If you are a big fan of neural network or human brain, this is definitely a must read.

Jeff Hawkins, a brain theory enthusiast who founded the Palm PDA company while he had a bottleneck in brain research, is also the founder of the Redwood Neuroscience Institute and a neural science based company, Numenta. In this book, Hawkins pointed out the unbalance between theory and experiment in the area of brain research and the stupidity of claiming that we don’t understand brain yet because we lack data, making most of the some neural scientists look stupid.

The central theory of this book is Hawkins claim that Intelligence is prediction, which he compared it to the discovery of the Spherical Earth, Darwin’s Evolution Theory, and Plate Movement. It might seem quite a lot a bit of exaggerating at first, since we all know humans can predict, and intelligence can help make good predictions; why would anyone compare this quite intuitive theory to the other great discoveries. However, as a good speaker and author, Hawkins is persuasive. After reading this book, I have to admit I almost believed what he claimed.

This book is published in 2004, quit old compared to the other rapid changing technologies, but since brain theory is moving relative slow compared to the computer industry, it is definitely still worth reading.

Step aside from whether Hawkins’ theory is correct or not.
“It’s already 2011, where is our intelligent robots!?”

  1. […] pattern. This is related to the sparse encoding I talked about before and is consistent with Jeff Hawkins’ brain theory. (See his talk about sparse distribution representation around […]

  2. […] or there are still missing pieces that we haven’t discover. This kind of reminds me one of Jeff Hawkins’  brain theory, which he said that solving the mystery of consciousness is like figuring out the […]

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